Episode 9: Ultimatum Day
The final episode… before the reunion, anyway.
We start with Mal and Yoly again. Mal definitely feels like the least coerced ultimatum recipient at this point. Probably the only one who seems genuinely ready to get married right now. She proposes, and Yoly says yes. Yay! But wait, where did that footage in the preview come from? The footage of Yoly crying on the curb? And walking with Xander?
We don’t get to know yet. We move on to Mildred and Tiff. Tiff demonstrates that, like Vanessa, they too can write things down ahead of time. But unlike Vanessa, they can memorize them. Tiff proposes, Mildred says yes, and Mildred smacks Tiff’s butt.
Now on to Sam and Aussie. I immediately get the sense that Sam is going to say no. Also, Aussie has worn this bow tie at least three times on this show, and I know that because every time Aussie wears it I squint and try to figure out if it’s a peacock feather. I’m still not sure.
Aussie tells a story about how penguins spend a long time searching the beach, looking for the perfect rock to present to their lifelong mate. I thought the story was going in the direction of “I’m sorry I spent so much time and energy focusing on the perfect metaphorical rock, instead of being a perfect mate for you” but actually Aussie just gives Sam a rock. (And an actual engagement ring, after a second.) Even more shockingly, Sam says yes. I hope they go to therapy!
Next we have Vanessa and Xander. All I can think of is GOOD GOD DON’T DO IT. NO NO NO NO NO. I still don’t believe that Vanessa actually wants to marry Xander. I think she just realized it was possible for Xander to leave her and is trying to prevent that from happening.
Xander shows up in the teensiest tiniest chain. Even though the one who received the ultimatum is supposed to propose, Vanessa asks Xander to talk first, and I get flashbacks to that one season of Love Is Blind where the person who got picked to go first at the altar swerved and went “I think the best thing I can do is give you the opportunity to answer first.” Am I wrong in wanting Vanessa to put herself out there first?
Regardless, since she asked Xander to talk first, Xander says she doesn’t want to get married to Vanessa. So, of course Vanessa doesn’t propose. They break up.
But then… Xander says she has to talk to Yoly. OH SHIT.
Yoly is truly having the Bella Swan experience now. I guess Mal is Jacob, because she’s the safer, well-known, and more stable option whereas Xander is the whirlwind experience of Edward. #TeamJacob. At least until he gets werewolf roid rage.
Yoly and Xander talk. Yoly tearfully explains that people have been telling her to choose love and choose herself, and she thinks that choosing herself would be choosing Xander. Honestly, she played herself by going on this show. The pair try to walk off to get some privacy. Netflix says nope and follows them.
Yoly ends up choosing Mal, but seems really, really torn up about it. Both of them seem very raw and tired of being filmed. At this point, my fiancée asked me, “Do you think they pay for these people’s therapy? I feel like I need therapy and I’m just watching it…”
And, last but not least, we have Rae and TITTIES oh my god I’m so sorry. Lexi. Forgive me lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko for I have sinned.
Rae proposes to Lexi and she says yes. And, Lexi actually proposes to Rae too! (That’s what my fiancée and I did, so I’m a little biased towards thinking their proposal is cute.) Lexi says she fully recommends the experience of this show. For real? Alright then…
At this point, I can’t wait for the reunion, because I absolutely did not expect this many couples to even get engaged. And I also can’t wait because, as we’re actively watching Episode 9, my friend is texting me “THE REUNION” with a bunch of eyes emojis. I wonder why…
Episode 10: The Reunion
I have high expectations for this reunion. The absolute first thing that grabs my attention is Tiff’s outfit. The vest, buttoned up all the way, with no shirt underneath, is a bold choice.
We learn that it’s about one year later. The contestants seem to have seen the episodes, but this was filmed around January 2023. Apparently they filmed the main chunk of the show in late 2021. I can’t imagine trying not to mention your relationship status on Instagram for that long. Yes, my Instagram is 90% pictures of my fiancée, why do you ask?
Lexi and Rae are still together and seem to be doing well. Lexi’s mom set a date for the wedding. Our host says the word “fingergate” and we get a lot of great reactions as everyone has to sit through the fingergate footage.
We move on to Xander and Vanessa and learn that they aren’t talking at all these days. It’s mega awkward. Vanessa calls Xander her “fuckin’ buddy” in a way that’s absolutely memeable.
And then we go to Mal and Yoly. I once again notice that Tiff and Mildred, and Sam and Aussie, are basically the “leftover” couples here. Just like how they were left until last to choose each other after the other three couples paired up at the choice, I guess we’ll get to them last in the reunion.
I don’t think about that for too long because oop, Mal and Yoly are “happily broken up.” Welp.
It’s shocking to see Mal not be on Yoly’s side for basically the first time in this entire show. Mal says the show reveals Yoly’s dishonesty, and Yoly says Mal went back to her old ways after filming wrapped. Yoly says that she comes off as an advertisement for polyamory in this show and I can’t agree more. How many times now have I suggested a threesome between Mal, Yoly, and Xander?
Mal even slightly encourages Xander and Yoly to attempt a relationship. Vanessa jumps in to say that they did make an attempt “in the wild” but Xander and Yoly say they just met up for Coachella. And maybe planned a Hawaii trip together. But nothing else happened. OK then.
Over 20 minutes in and we still haven’t gotten to Sam and Aussie or Tiff and Mildred. But we do get a dog compilation! And in that compilation, we learn that Tiff cooked food multiple times for Shylo before they ever cooked food for Sam. Look at that dog’s balanced plate!
And on the topic of dog drama, we finally get to Mildred and Tiff. Not because the host pivoted to them. But because the host asked how Shylo was doing, Tiff says they spent Christmas at the vet with Shylo but she’s okay now, and Mildred asks when exactly Shylo had surgery. Because Tiff texted Mildred and her family thinking Shylo wasn’t going to make it… and… brace for reveal… Tiff and Mildred are not only no longer engaged, but they aren’t talking to each other at all.
And in the span of the next few minutes, I understand why my friend had texted me so frantically about this episode.
Mildred goes OFF. She says Tiff wouldn’t get a job. Tiff says they had a job. Mildred says she left Tiff. Tiff says they left Mildred. Mildred says Tiff asked her to split the rent in three because of Mildred’s son. Then Mildred volunteers the information that she was arrested at her home after throwing things at Tiff. I infer that Aussie has been to therapy because I think the Aussie of one year ago would have absolutely fled the room with the amount of tension going on.
Tiff seems confused. I can’t tell who is lying, but someone must be, because Tiff and Mildred cannot agree on basic facts. Mildred talks about “sex board games” that she found in Tiff’s room. Everyone looks confused and uncomfortable.
Tiff is visibly upset at this point and says Mildred is gaslighting them. Mildred says every time Tiff talks, it hurts her ear. BRUH. Tiff walks off set, crying, and both Aussie and Sam vouch for Tiff’s character – Aussie essentially saying that they also felt gaslit by Mildred, and Sam saying she didn’t like the way all the blame was put on one person.
Sam goes after Tiff to comfort them and officially wins Miss Congeniality for this season. Seriously, I feel like all I’ve seen her do this whole time is comfort other people. Certified Tarot Healer to the rescue.
Tiff decides not to go back in, and we see them leave in a car. With a little less than 8 minutes left in the reunion episode, we finally get to find out if Sam and Aussie are still together. It turns out that they are, and they actually seem to be doing very well. Sam says something very smart about learning to sit with the discomfort of allowing space, while Aussie learns to sit with the discomfort of staying. I really like that! I appreciate that they seem to have learned to share the discomfort of difficult conversations, rather than let it all fall on one person.
As we wrap up, I realize that they seemingly sorted them on the couches by how good their relationships are going (closer to the host = better relationship). We also learn that Lexi and Mal are still friends, so close they’re basically family, which is quite a sweet note to end on. We talk about what everyone’s learned from the experience, and a few people hug it out as everyone stands up. And with that, we’ve finally finished our first Netflix original lesbian dating show!
Personally, I can’t wait to see if they make more. I don’t just want lesbian Ultimatum, though. I’m still waiting for lesbian Love Is Blind.